TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Mark Powers - I am the Instrument





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Published on Apr 7, 2012

Drum roll, please. And hold...for twelve hours! Mark Powers, percussion artist, teacher, and writer, once co-held the Guinness Book of World Records title for longest continuous drum roll (2003-2005). He admits that it's a silly claim to fame, but it does show this adventurous world-traveling musician's devotion to rhythm. "Percussion has held such an integral role in cultures around the globe for centuries and rhythm is something that each one of us possesses within. My goal is to harness its power and potential, using it for community building, wellness and personal growth." Knowing early in life that he loved percussion, Mark began studying drumset performance at age 16 after an accelerated high school graduation. Over the years, he's studied with countless percussion luminaries in the U.S. and abroad. He's performed and absorbed the rhythms from Puerto Rico, Cuba, China, Thailand, Canada, Ghana and Uganda. Through it all, he's met, performed, and recorded with a variety of people. He finds that his ever-widening circle of friends constantly inspires him. "I am continually aware of many people doing so many great things for themselves and others. I can't help but see their ideas and actions and ask myself, "'hmm . . . how could a drummer apply that?'" When he's not traveling or performing, Mark teaches private lessons, classes, and workshops. In teaching people the rhythms he's mastered, he uses music to touch people's lives. In some cases, it even helps to heal—he teaches at Riverfront Wellness Center and he presents percussion-based Correctional Education programs in adult and juvenile facilities. Soon after Mark shares his passion for percussion on the stage at TEDxConcordiaUPortland, he's travelling to Kuwait City, where he'll be artist in residence for two weeks at an international school. Then he's off to the South Pacific to perform for four months. Catch him while he's still here and prepare to be moved by his rhythmic expertise!

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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